What Can Be Modified in a Divorce Decree?

Divorce Decree Modifications

During the divorce process, finances, property and other possessions and assets are divided, arrangements are made, and then the divorce is finalized.  But what happens if there is a life circumstance change or some other reason that prompts a need to change the divorce decree?  Can you actually change the divorce decree after it is finalized? The answer – yes!

What Can Be Modified in a Divorce Decree?

There are a few things that are very common and can be modified easily while other things are less common and certain requirements must be met.  Below is a list of things that can be modified in your divorce decree after it is finalized:

Child Support & Child Custody

One of the most common modifications after a divorce is finalized is child support or child custody.  The reasons for this vary but can be due to a change in an employment, change in income, change in living circumstances, moving, safety concerns, child preferences, educational needs, and much more.  A change to child support or custody will be determined by what is in the best interest of the child/ren.

Spousal Support/Maintenance

Spousal maintenance is a common component of a divorce decree in which one spouse provides some amount of financial support that depends on a variety of factors such as income, assets, children, living expenses, and more.  Occasionally, a change in someone’s job, income, or just general expenses may arise that necessitates a change in spousal maintenance.  In some cases, the divorce decree may stipulate that the spousal maintenance is non-modifiable, but it is not the case for many spousal maintenance agreements.  There may be certain rules that stipulate spousal support can be modified under particular circumstances or only if both parties or a judge agrees to the change.

While there are other things that may be able to be modified in your divorce decree, these are the two most common and the most likely to be able to be modified.  If you think a modification to your divorce decree may be needed, it is ideal to work with a divorce mediator to help you come to a mutually-agreed upon decision.